With Peter Capaldi set to hand over the keys to the TARDIS at the end of this year, names of potential replacements have been flying about for a couple of weeks now. Should it be a woman? Should they be non-white? Should they be young or old? With eight weeks to go until Peter Capaldi’s final season airs, I’ve picked my top three candidates to replace the actor and become the next Doctor.

My 3rd choice: Richard Ayoade

The Doctor has arguably lost the mystery in the modern series that he had in the classic era. Sylvester McCoy best epitomised how cryptic the Doctor could be. We as viewers shouldn’t know everything about the Doctor. We shouldn’t even know most things about the show’s protagonist. So who better to try and create some aura and intrigue that was best portrayed by McCoy than one of television’s most enigmatic personalities? Richard Ayoade has always been a curious man. Like the Doctor, we don’t know everything about him, unlike some of the “celebrities” we see on television nowadays. His nerdy and hilarious way of telling jokes on panel shows may not be enough on its own to land him the role, but it would certainly help him in delivering the Doctor’s quick-witted and intelligent lines. As well as his favourable character traits, Ayoade also has sufficient acting experience. He was a regular on The IT Crowd, for which he won a BAFTA in 2013. The only doubt I would have about Ayoade is his ability to perform darkly, something I’ve never seen him do before. I had similar doubts about Matt Smith too though, and he acted expertly throughout all scenes; light and dark. Ayoade also seems to be focusing on directing rather than acting at this point of his career, so whether or not he’d be up for taking on such an intense role isn’t clear. If Ayoade is to replace Capaldi, there would be massive potential to reinvigorate the show. Even with thirteen actors behind him, Ayoade would still bring something new to the role. The character would grow even more mystifying, and at just 39 Ayoade could easily fulfil the role for several years. With merchandise sales falling in recent years, he’s also somebody who the BBC could look to with his unique style to try and pick that up. McCoy’s famous question marks may even make a return. Could we get our goofiest Doctor yet?

My 2nd choice: Ruth Wilson

About a year ago, I wrote a piece about why I didn’t want a female Doctor. I still stand by a lot of what I said, I definitely don’t want a female Doctor just for the sake of it. The possibility of some bookies’ favourites, like Olivia Coleman or Miranda Hart taking over genuinely frightens me. Coleman has never shown any ability to portray a heroic character or a charismatic one throughout her career, and Miranda Hart’s acting ability is lacking any sort of finesse. Either of that pair could end the show. A female Doctor risks breaking a formula that’s worked so well for fifty four years. Though I don’t see Ruth Wilson as a risk at all. She is the only female I can think of that I’d be happy with initially, and that’s because of her incredible acting ability. Throughout her short, yet decorated career, Wilson has demonstrated she can play a wide range of characters. The aura she created around her character, Alice, in BBC drama Luther, is something she could easily replicate in Doctor Who. She had Luther himself, as well as millions of viewers fascinated with her dark, untrustworthy and unpredictable character. If the Doctor did change gender, then it could take him/her quite a while to get used to his, so maybe he/she would go through an unpredictable phase, and Wilson would be perfect to take the character through that transition. She also played Jane Eyre, so has experience of period drama, something that could help her in a show about time travel. Wilson, like Ayoade, could help the BBC reboot their merchandise sales. With her performance in Showtime’s drama, The Affair, Wilson is already popular in America, so her appointment could be internationally approved – a potential first for a Doctor. If we are to have a female Doctor, then I desperately hope it’s Ruth Wilson. She has all the necessary attributes to kick the show into a new era and at only 35, could again leave a long and successful legacy on the show.

My 1st choice: Jason Watkins

Jason Watkins may not be as well known as Richard Ayoade or Ruth Wilson, but he’s my number one choice to replace Peter Capaldi. Perhaps best known for playing William Herrick in Being Human,  Watkins career has never reached the heights of starring in a show like Doctor Who, but I believe he is ready to take a big jump into the TARDIS. His performance as Herrick, Being Human’s major villain, is what has made me pick Watkins as my favourite. One particular episode lives in my memory. His character had just been reincarnated and there was doubt over whether he would return to his dastardly, evil ways. He fooled the main characters, George and Nina into taking him into their home, as they believed he was a different man. He didn’t just fool them though, he fooled me too. You might call me a mug, but it was one of the best acting performances I’ve ever seen. I genuinely believed Watkins’ character had changed, it was a tremendous flip in performance, before he went on to plunge a kitchen knife into Nina a few episodes later. Apart from Being Human, Watkins has been a regular in Trollied, a Sky sitcom. He’s also appeared in Doctor Who too, playing Webley in Nightmare in Silver. Watkins’ variation in his performance is the number one reason I’d love to see him get the role. At 50, he still has years ahead of him to make his mark on the show and deal with its demands. He, like Ayoade also has a BAFTA to his name, for his performance in  The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies. It’s time for Watkins to make the breakthrough in his career that his ability deserves. I would love to see him travel through space and time. Who would you like to see in the TARDIS? Do you agree with me, or having different names in mind? Leave your thoughts below.